Coaching is as much a critical process in today’s contact centers as workforce management, quality monitoring, and call routing. Agents need feedback and goals to improve and succeed, and it is the supervisor’s role as a coach to manage and deliver that performance guidance. Unfortunately, in many contact centers today, coaching is not managed with strategy and rigor or treated as a first-class process. Often, the supervisor-agent relationship is broken, jeopardizing the success of the organization as a whole. If the time and energy is spent to effectively implement a deliberate and controlled coaching process, it can be a lever for significant change.
While coaching practices and purposes vary widely across operations environments and industries, a new generation of coaching has emerged, distinct from previous incarnations.
Traditionally, coaching was characterized by an intuitive approach. Supervisors and agents met at required intervals, but often lacked guidance on specific performance improvement targets. Usually, the process was purely procedural. New coaching, or Performance Coaching, on the other hand, is tuned, empowered, accountable, and tied in directly to overarching company goals – ensuring positive returns on organizational strategy. This approach presents an organization and its employees with actionable plans that are measured, managed, and bottom-up. More specifically, these new methods provide supervisors, managers, and directors with the tools they need to know: who, when, how often, and what manner to coach.
As a key element in performance management, coaching in contact centers has implications beyond just the professional development and training of agents – it ultimately leads to significant gains in customer satisfaction, revenue, and productivity. A new white paper from NICE, The Art of Coaching in the Contact Center', discusses common coaching practices today and makes the case for the Implementation of a closed-loop Performance Coaching program in the organization.